"Has filming begun?" I hurried out of my car, taking the coffee that Kate handed me. Late. Thirty minutes late. All because my mother decided to make a surprise visit.
"DARLING!" Her pitch made me wince as I opened the door.
"Mother... what a surprise. What are you doing here?"
"Can't I visit my daughter?"
"Yes, but I'm just heading out."
"Clearly. But I'm sure whatever it is can wait, for me."
"Not really mother."
"Don't be so childish. You're in charge. You can show up late."
"Actually being in charge means I can't show up late mother. I have to be on it, every minute of the day."
"Well, I raised you to be excellent in your career Helena, even if you did choose the wrong one. But I didn't think it would mean you'd cut me off as soon as you had your foot in the door."
"You think you raised me...?"
I sighed, and concentrated on Kate's answer.
"It started on time. Ms. Kensington seems a little... off? And Jack is angry because Kam hasn't been around. She's not answering his texts. Or mine. Caine is muttering notes in a corner and it's starting to wind everyone up. All in all, we're back to a typical day."
"When was the last time anyone saw Kamala?"
"After you... erm, earlier. In the first shoot of the day, before lunch."
"How many people know about what happened earlier? The argument, I mean?"
"Not many, I'm sure." She looked uncomfortable.
"I need the truth Kate."
"Pretty much everyone, Ms. Anderson."
"Fantastic." I growled, and stalked towards the set. "Are they filming now?"
"Tell Alex to meet me in her trailer when she's finished." I stalked off to the trailer, leaving Kate behind. Opening up the door I stepped inside and pulled the door closed. And then I turned round.
"Holy shit... Kamala?" I rushed over to where she lay, her dress ripped and pulled up high. She was bloody, bruised; her lip split and her eyes shut under dark bruises that were forming across her face. I pulled her hand up and tried to find a pulse. It was there, but faint. "Oh god, oh god...." I snatched my bag and tried to find my phone. Finally, I found it and dialled for an ambulance.
"If you're about to start another argument about my love life-" Alex started as the door swung open. "-Oh my god what happened?"
"I don't know! I just came in and she was on the floor."
"Have you called the-"
"-Of course I have!" I was panicking. I'd never had to deal with someone in this sort of situation. I'd policed the media. Never this.
"Helena... Helena, calm down. You can't help her if you're shaking."
I stood up and started pacing, keeping my eyes on Kamala. Alex was straightening her dress, stroking her hair out of her face.
"Sorry. This must be hard, seeing your... seeing her like this."
"You must really care about her." I sank down on to the sofa, checking my phone. Had it only been two minutes?
"Can we not do this now?" She snapped.
"I didn't mean to pry... I just... she's such a sweet girl. Why would anyone... why was she in here?"
"The police will find out."
"Do you think she... her skirt was... Alex...?" Alex looked a little green. "Sorry."
"No... I mean yes. Maybe I don't know. God I hope not the poor, poor girl." Her eyes were wet. I sunk from the sofa on to the floor, and put my hand out to rub her back gently.
"She'll be okay."
"How do you know?"
"She's surrounded by people who care about her." I gripped her hand tight, and took Kamala's too. "The ambulance will be here soon." I could hear sirens in the distance.
Kate went in the ambulance with Kamala. Once she'd discovered what had happened, she couldn't leave her. Not that I would let her. Kamala should have her best friend with her. I had to deal with the police. It went on for a long time, with them questioning everyone who had been any where near the trailer for the whole day.
"What will you tell the execs?" Caine threw his voice in before the police had barely driven away. They were headed to hospital, to see Kamala, and question Kate. I stared after them, brow furrowed, feeling everything crashing through me like waves.
"Why would I be telling them anything?" I murmured, distracted.
"I assumed you'd be halting shooting again." He rolled his eyes.
"You assume wrong. Jack can cope without his assistant as I can do without mine. Now go back to wherever you find your inspiration, and let everyone who knew her worry without your insensitive remarks." I snarled at him, and he backed off.
"Helena..." Alex put a comforting hand on my arm. "Are you sure we should carry on shooting?"
"We can't afford to lose any more time."
"We can make it back..."
"Really? Because this show seems cursed to me. Or maybe it's just the people."
"Okay, you need to come with me." She marched me towards my trailer. "Get in."
"I don't have time..."
"Want to explain why I'm doing everything you say?"
"Because you need to be strong for everyone, but that doesn't mean you can't acknowledge yours, or anyone else's feelings."
"Alex, I'm fine-"
"You just found Kam, beaten and hurt. There's no way you're not feeling something."
I put a hand on my hip while I used the other to rub my forehead.
"Alex... there's a time and a place to be emotional okay? I don't need to be emotional right now. I need to be objective and protect everyone else's interests."
"Just for once can't you drop the act and show someone how you feel?"
"NO! I can't! And you're not so great at doing that either!"
"Better than you!"
"I can't do that. I can't! It's damn hard to get where I've gotten as a woman. You think I could've done it if I was crying every time someone got hurt? Every time I had some emotion? I have to be like this!"
She stared at me for a moment, and then pulled me in to a hug. It took us both some time to let go.
"You don't have to be like that with me."
"You're not exactly a pillar of honesty."
"Maybe we both have things to work on."
"If we can hold off for a little while, we could go and see Kamala? Take her some flowers."
"I can make the time back. I promise. With a little rescheduling, it'll be done. I've never gone over time, or budget before."
"Okay. We'll sort something out later."
"Come on then. Let's go get the others. We should all go. Everyone that cares about her."